Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Theology of sickness and disease: What about the man born blind?

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38 MEV

Dear Friend, I pray that in every way you may prosper and be in good health,  just as your soul is prospering. 3 John 2 Mounce Reverse Interlinear New Testament 

 God is a Good God. He is always good. This is the truth that believers in Christ should never compromise on. Traditional religion, however, seeks to dilute this truth due to their own experience or when they observe someone else's situation or circumstance.

 We have an account in the Gospels that seems to indicate God isn't always so good. In John's Gospel, we see the man who was born blind. The disciples seek to answer a theological question using this man's experience. Jesus sought something else entirely.

 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  John 9:1-5 NKJV

 This event in the life of Jesus has birthed a tradition that many holdfasts to. It has become a stronghold if you will in the minds of the religious. Because of the punctuation of the original King James, some believe that God made this man blind from birth just so that later in his life Jesus could come and give him sight and get the glory and also prove He is the Messiah.

 The way this passage translates into English coupled with this tradition has caused many modern Bible translations to also word it this way. Because of this, this tradition is kept alive and well. This tradition cuts through denominational barriers so much so that even Spirit-filled churches that believe in divine healing have even propagated it.  

 Let's examine this passage in light of Jesus Himself. Jesus is the express image of God. Jesus is the will of God in demonstration. Jesus is God manifest in flesh. If we want to see God's attitude about something we can look at Jesus. Jesus never brought destruction, on the contrary, He rebuked the storm. Jesus never brought sickness or disease, He healed the multitudes rebuking sickness. Jesus went about doing good not bad. He represented God perfectly and Jesus was always Good.

 So do we really accept the notion that God would cause a man to be born blind just so later in life Jesus would heal him? Would a loving Father deprive a mother of having her baby being able to physically see her? Would a loving Father deprive an infant of the ability to see their own surroundings? Would a loving Father deprive a child of the ability to see the sunrise and sunset and all the wonders of creation? 

 This tradition is teaching us yes. God deprived this man the ability to earn a living, to find a mate, to be able to care for himself. God did all this just to get some glory. This disturbing tradition turns God into a weak god who must first afflict someone just to show others he can heal. 

 What Jesus went about doing is good. He came to give life and life more and more abundantly till it overflows. He came to reveal the Love of a Loving Father. He demonstrated this great goodness by healing all who came to Him, by providing for the multitudes, by taking authority over demonic forces, and setting the captives free. With this witness, how can anyone accept the notion that God dares afflict anyone with sickness, disease, distress, or ordain disaster?

 Jesus is the person of Grace. He is Grace revealed. The disciples at the moment focused on their theological traditions. Who sinned to cause this? At this time, some believed a child could sin in the womb. They still saw God as the "afflictor" the one bringing punishment. Jesus in His Grace sought to bring help, hope, and healing in this situation and never fully revealed the why of this man's blindness.

 The disciples asked a question that could only garner one of three responses. Look at the question, who did sin that this man was born blind, his parents or him? There are only three possible answers. The man himself, his parents, or neither. Jesus answered the basic question by saying neither. That was the end of the discussion, Jesus didn't answer the why, He only revealed He is the answer.

 In this passage, the punctuation isn't what's given by inspiration of the Spirit, only the words. The Lamsa translation, the Bible from the Aramaic gets the punctuation correct in light of Jesus' character.

 AND as Jesus passed by, he saw a man who was blind from his mother’s womb. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Teacher, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus said to them, Neither did he sin nor his parents. But that the works of God might be seen in him, 4 I must do the works of him who sent me, while it is day; the night comes when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. John 9:1-5 Lamsa 
With this translation and punctuation, we see an end to this terrible tradition. Jesus answered the disciples to get their attention back onto their purpose. To bring life and light to a fallen world. Jesus is clearly showing us the truth, and not tradition.

 Jesus reveals this blindness isn't the result of anyone's sin. This isn't God punishing this man. This, therefore, isn't the works of God in any way shape, or form. Then Jesus reveals to us what is the true works of God as He, through a recreative miracle, brings complete sight to this man. He brought life and wholeness, not blindness.

 Let this disturbing tradition fall away as the truth is clearly seen in Jesus' actions and the true understanding of the Word. God isn't afflicting anyone to just get glory out of it at a later time. God isn't ordaining ailments, disabilities, and affliction to later lift off of people to show us His power. That only proves weakness, not real strength and power.

 In summation, relinquish the traditional view of this passage. God is always Good. He isn't so weak that He has to form a problem just so He could provide the solution. This is as nonsensical and disingenuous as a law enforcement officer bringing an unauthorized item to a restricted area and a short time later retrieving it, then telling their superiors they found contraband. God is not dishonest and disingenuous. He is a Good Father who we can fully trust in. He isn't the source of our problems, He is the solution to our problems. 

Image by CCXpistiavos from Pixabay 

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